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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Piper’s “Masculine Feel” Gospel?

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Really, John?

Written by missional girl

February 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm

The Man-Centered Gospel of the Gospel Coalition & T4G

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I have been fairly quiet about the nonsensical remaking of the gospel that has taken place in my theological ghetto called the reformed world. While some Reformed theologians would have you believe that Bishop T.D. Jakes is one of the biggest threats to biblical Christianity, I believe one of the biggest threats is in fact a home-grown bushel of bullstinky I dis-affectionately call “The Man-Centered Gospel.”

Birthed partially out of a need to respond to the “evangelical feminism” or egalitarian folks from the likes of the CBE, Reformed folks like John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Mark Driscoll, and whoever else you can spot on a T4G or Gospel Coalition website have gone out of their way to make it very clear that men alone are called to lead both in the home and in the church.

Somehow, these well-meaning gentlemen, men whose love for Jesus is unquestioned (at least in my book), have wrapped complementarianism around the Cross and called it “the gospel”.

Should one’s support or opposition to complementarian or even egalitarian perspectives so mute the gospel of grace in and through Jesus Christ that they–and not the finished work of God the Son–be the standard by which we judge whether a Christian is “undermining the gospel” by not adhering to it?

I hope not.

Bottom line: anything sitting on the throne that ain’t Jesus doesn’t belong there. I contend that ministries like T4G and the GC have made an idol out of their own manhood to the extent that their gospel is as man-centered and graceless as any legalistic ministry one could think of.

Just a thought….

Written by missional girl

January 29, 2012 at 1:32 am

Learning from Zachary Tims’ Death

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Much has been said about and made of television preacher/pastor Zachery Tims’ death at the age of 42 in a NYC hotel Friday. I’m not going to speculate (like some other news outlets) about how he died or why he was in NYC when his church was in Florida.

The Big Ideas

  • God’s grace is real.
  • Hold fast to the biblical pattern and demands of leadership. Stepping outside the guardrails of the Word will ALWAYS lead to disaster…always.
  • Accountability partners cannot be “Yes” men and women.
  • Make sure your circle of accountability is walking in integrity themselves. When they aren’t, they will not tell you the truth in love about your sin
  • TBN should have removed him from the air when he admitted having an affair—NOT to harm or embarrass him but to help him deal with the root causes and consequences of his sin.
  • Pastors need safe people and safe places where they can unload the baggage. I know what it is like to need to “unwind” and “decompress” in the midst of ministry. The problem is that too many church leaders today are decompressing the wrong way.

The Tims family, especially his four children, are in my thoughts and prayers as is his church family.

Written by missional girl

August 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Those Pesky Detweiler Files

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Here are the files that former SGM pastor typed. According to Brent Detweiler, someone else uploaded them. For the sake of fairness, this is his side but his side is a formidable 600+ pages of letters, emails, etc. There are some shocking things that I was not even prepared for.

Judge for yourself:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Written by missional girl

July 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Sun Stand Still: Chapter 1

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Some highlights from my NOOK version of SST:

  • “….if you’re not daring to believe God for the impossible, you’re sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life”
  • “…if the size of your vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God”
  • “Faith isn’t a Get Out of Hell Free card. It’s the most vital building block of your relationship with God.”
  • “…faith is not a drug to sedate you through the life you hate.”

Written by missional girl

September 26, 2010 at 7:07 pm

What the Church Can Learn from BP

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BP Oil Spill

BP screwed up. It should not take a commission on Capital Hill to help them or their supporters come to that conclusion. But before we pile on to the beleaguered company, fault also belongs to the U.S. government and the British government who for too many decades allowed politicians to tuck away “donations” from oil companies rather than deal with any kind of regulation to keep them in check.

What can we learn from the way BP is handling the oil and PR spills?

1. Pray for the best but prepare for the worst. Maybe my firstborn tendencies are working overtime here but BP never seemed prepared for the worst possible scenario. Instead, there was a great deal of buck-passing and excuse making. Churches likewise do the same when they drop the ball, missing opportunities to minister within the context God has given them and be ready to deal with community drama (can you say natural disasters?) or ministry blunders that cause unnecessary tension between them and groups on completely different spiritual pages. Pray for the best but have a plan to deal with catastrophe.

2. Crisis should inspire creativity. Let’s face it: when problems arise, the true leaders will take over. BP’s leader had to step aside because he had no answers and no vision for how to fix the problem. Pastors (you’re big boys and girls; you can take it!) whose churches are halting toward the finish line of faith are too insecure to allow others within their churches to arise with possible solutions. God has given you, pastor, the vision and anointing to lead but He has also given others gifts and talents to assist you in accomplishing His will. Don’t waste them by stifling the creativity of others for fear that you will lose your “position.” Your pulpit is not your God.

3. Manifest the “gift of move on.” One of the best things a church can do is to unleash the far-sighted leaders in their midst to hear from God and help them prepare for the next thing. Yet this cannot happen if churches do not learn to move in the midst of challenge. It is so easy to camp at the site of our greatest failure. Churches that are allowing the Holy Spirit to use them to draw people to Jesus Christ do not camp; they move. Moses did not have time for a tutorial or YouTube clips on how to overcome a Red Sea and a maniacal pharaoh hell-bent on destroying him and his people. He could not go back to Egypt. Everyone around him questioned whether he or she had made a mistake in leaving the bondage of slavery. God had the remedy:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. (Exod. 14:15-16, NIV)

God’s word in the midst of crisis: “Move on!” To get where they had never been, Moses as their leader had to do something he had never done. It seems to me the church could learn from that.

Written by missional girl

July 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Crisis, Leadership

Discipleship and Leaders

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“If there’s a mist in the pulpit, there’s a fog in the pew.” At least that’s what a spiritual father of mine use to warn years ago whenever we talked about leadership and discipleship issues in the church. With the plethora of church conferences and leadership conferences to assuage any leader’s inner guru, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of systems, leadership styles, and the like.

But when I considered how I wanted to lead my high school students through their Bible study and how I wanted to influence them in growing in Christ, my mind kept going back to those foundational years with the Navigators and all that talk about discipleship and pouring one’s life into a few.

Pastors are constantly caught in the crossfire between the numbers game and the cruel realities of undiscipled disciples of Christ. Small group and “life” groups are certainly a help but they are not the end-all, be-all. Pastors and other church leaders cannot lead in a vacuum. Furthermore, we cannot for one minute believed that following is not part of our leading. If we cannot follow Jesus, if we cannot listen to those godly leaders He places in our lives to sharpen us, then we ourselves are disqualified from being effective leaders. I can smell a shipwreck a mile away when the leader stops listening to wise counsel from godly, Christ-centered sources.

When it comes to discipleship, pastors ought to model it by allowing others to disciple them and by discipling those God has placed on their hearts. Congregations need to understand that pastors cannot disciple one-to-one every member of their local fellowship. Any such expectation is ridiculous and not grounded in Scripture. Jesus Himself did not disciple crowds!

Written by missional girl

June 30, 2010 at 10:00 pm